Book Review: If You Have to Cry Go Outside

Book Review: If You Have to Cry Go Outside

kelly cutrone
Kelly Cutrone – Founder and CEO of People’s Revolution

If you follow me on Twitter, it will come as no surprise to you that I love Kelly Cutrone and view her as a mentor in my head.

This long-distance relationship began years before she started making cameos on The Hills and The City. It actually started when I was just a fresh faced intern at this boutique PR firm. I started to hear her name a lot and when I did my research (read: dream stalking) I discovered that she was doing all of the things that to this day STILL get me excited.

Fast forward a few years…

Kelly publishes her first book, “If you have to cry go outside…” which I ended up devouring in a total of 4 hours.

It was a great read and I honestly think people will walk away with a clearer picture about who Kelly Cutrone really is.

Although I picked up the book when it was released in 2010, I decided to revisit it tonight and wanted to share some of the highlighted messages that really stuck out to me. I’ll mention those here and explain why these particular passages are important or relevant to my journey. (Excerpts will appear in bold text)

Kelly Cutrone Book
Credit: SocialLife

“Sometimes, if not most of the time, you find out who you are by figuring out who and what you are not.”

Let’s face it: society’s cookie cutter molds aren’t “one size fits all.” To get to this place of knowing who you are you have to be fearless and willing to take that leap of faith. You have to go through a little bit of trial and error and take the time to listen to YOURSELF and stop catering to the needs of everyone around you. Women are often programmed into complacency with the notion that we have to “do what we gotta do,” which typically involves taking care of everyone but ourselves.

“When you leave home to follow your dreams…you’ll probably be kicked to the ground 150 million times and told you’re nuts by friends and strangers alike.”

People often criticize things that they don’t understand. Lately, I’ve had to catch myself and shift my perspective because when explaining my work ethic to people I found that I often referred to myself as crazy. This made me think about what my grandmother tells me in terms of people’s opinions and thoughts that they project onto things they don’t understand, “that’s their shit, so let them live with it.” That statement puts things in perspective and allows you to work toward developing a sense of detachment that Kelly mentions in the book.

“Following your dreams, isn’t always about what makes sense; it’s about what your soul needs.”

In fact, none of it makes sense but you just have a feeling and you know this (whatever “this” may be) is just something you have to do. For instance, one of the key reasons I wanted to get into PR is because I was intrigued by the art of persuasion and how targeted campaigns and rhetoric can make entire nations change their behavior or mindset on particular issues. This curiosity led me to many things throughout my life that I eventually learned were PR tactics…

Even today, I ask myself “what is my purpose and why am I so driven toward this lofty goal?” While the answer isn’t clear there is a bit of foresight and if I squint hard enough I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the future rewards of all of my hard work and determination. Sometimes it’s so hard to explain…that I’ve stopped trying altogether.

“You’ll find as you set out after your dreams that most people don’t really want you to transcend the situation you were born into…I advise you to stop sharing your dreams with people who try to hold you back, even if they’re your parents.”

Cue the subtle (and not so subtle) dream killers.

I often say that sometimes the people who are in positions to help you the most will merely give you a few pointers but may not be willing to pass the baton. I’m such an insular person, in that I don’t view anyone but myself as competition that it boggles my mind when people are threatened by me…

So to avoid the dream kill altogether I withdraw from the world when I’m focused on achieving a goal and go into my own personal bat cave. In the BC, I just make it happen. I don’t talk about it. I just do…

and I always emerge with a renewed sense of purpose.

“Start by identifying people in your community you look up to and then, graciously and with their blessing, use their hard work and experience to your advantage.”

Translation: mentors and best practices

Both of these things are invaluable AND necessary for a successful career in almost any field. You need to seek counsel from someone who has walked the line a few times. And as a rule of thumb, I always apply the K.I.S.S rule: KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. 9.5 times out of 10 someone, somewhere has attempted to do what you want to do…research how they did it and use that as a guide to create your own indelible imprint.

“Self-assurance was 90 percent of the game, it turned out; if you act as if you know what you’re doing, and as if you’re in charge, you’ll be surprised how many people will let you be in charge….[BUT] you can fake your way to the table, but ultimately you have to learn how to eat.”

You have no control over how you are perceived but you have 100 percent control over how you are presented. Take this statement to heart because people respond to the energy you give them…if you give them executive they’ll let you in on executive decisions. But, if you give them “push over” or pro-bono queen….that will be become your reputation.

“Just because you’re not getting fast-tracked doesn’t mean you can’t get on the ride.”

It’s true: nepotism and the “old boys club” suck…but hard work (read: blood, sweat and tears type of hard work) can get you those same opportunities.

“You can’t fake hard work, and when you believe in something and truly go after it with all you have, amazing things will happen.”

This makes me think of the self-fulfilling prophecy or The greatest secret in the world.

“You can never be too good for the things that first made you successful.”

Being comfortable can lead to complacency…which can lead to failure.

“You can’t truly be happy if you’ve never known pain. You can’t truly feel joy if you’ve never felt heartbreak. You can’t really know what it’s like to be filled unless you’ve been empty.”

Take risks. Fall in and out of love. Give back and truly start to LIVE your life.

“We’re constantly getting these messages to mind our own business and look the other way if we want to be well liked, to not tell the truth or speak our mind or say anything too intense. Well, I’m tell you that this approach not only makes you party to other people’s crimes against themselves but is a prescription for mediocrity and delusion.”

Excuse me for a second but fuck this shit. These people are robots who’ve done all the things they’ve been programmed to do. And they often find themselves middle aged, in a middle manager position, making a middle-class (if they’re lucky) salary. Bitter. Angry. People who are so deep in their own mess they can’t even escape.

“I am NOT what I do for a living.”

Separation of church and state….sense of detachment.

“…nor is my God locked away in a church to be visited once a week.”

You may not find me in a church all the time but I am a very spiritual person and I believe in things greater than myself. Sometimes people will try and discredit your religion because you don’t participate in traditional activities….tell them to mind their own darn business.

“…I want you to bite your lip. You don’t have to say anything you do not mean, and I urge you not to.”

I’m known for being very blunt and brutally honest. I’ve hurt people’s feelings and I’ve probably damaged a few souls…

My motto is that I would rather hear/tell the truth then to live a lie. People familiar with my “style” know to come to me when (and only when) they are truly ready to hear the truth.

“When people ask me how I sleep at night, I tell them I sleep like a fucking baby.” (detachment)

I loved this quote and am working diligently on getting to this place.

“My ‘internal talk’ was not just a nuisance: it was trapping me in repetitive action and paralyzing me into inaction.”

Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. Being fearless is the key to really unlocking (and unleashing) your full potential.

“I like to think of fear as a messenger that doesn’t always make sense: you have to figure out who sent fear before you can dismiss it outright.”

Every message has an agenda and someone’s opinion of you and your ideas is usually based in fear. Learn to listen objectively to advice and take everything with a grain of salt.

“There are people with Uzis waiting on the other side of the glass ceiling who want to kill you.”

HEE LARRY ASS….uzis though? I LOVE IT!

“BITCH = Boss In Total Control of Herself”

A great way to look at this word.

These are just a few of many Kellyisms that you’ll find sprinkled throughout the book. It’s a great read for PR professionals at any level or anyone who wants to make a name for themselves in their respective field!

Buy. Read. Share!